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Nationwide Oil Refinery Strike Threat Gathers Pace

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Nationwide Oil Refinery Strike Threat Gathers Pace

British refineries are bracing themselves for strike action as thousands of oil industry engineers and construction workers across the country are nearing walk-outs after unions served seven days’ notice of an industrial action ballot.

Two unions, Unite and the GMB, have announced that their members at several power stations and oil refineries, including Grangemouth in Scotland, Sellafield in Cumbria, Staythorpe in Nottinghamshire and Aberthaw in South Wales, will cast their vote between August 11 and September 1, in a long running dispute over jobs and conditions.

Both unions claim that employers have rejected repeated calls to improve a national agreement on employment, which would help bring long-term stability to the profession.

The impending strikes mean that workers at Total’s Lindsey oil refinery are locked in yet another dispute in what has been an active year for union members at the plant in North Lincolnshire.

Contractors at the site claim that the French energy giant has gone back on a deal it made to settle similar wildcat strikes back in June. Union officials are currently in talks with refinery bosses in an attempt to persuade them to honour the agreement.

The current conflict has lead for calls for changes to the National Agreement for the Engineering Construction industry (NAECI).

More than 2,000 workers laid down the tools of their trade in protest at the Lindsey terminal earlier this year after Total dismissed 650 contractors and instead assigned the labour work over to foreign labour.

Phil Davies, GMB National Secretary, commented: “Total management now claim that the agreement to provide work on site for those facing redundancy at Lindsey was a ‘mistake’. All other parties to these talks insist that there was indeed an agreement.

“The anger, frustration and mistrust between the employers and union members has been made a lot worse by the action of Total in reneging on the deal that led to the settlement of the unofficial dispute at Lindsey,†concluded Davies.

John Wilson, a senior organiser at the GMB, followed on from this, saying: “We want some clarity and a schedule of work that needs to be done.

“We do recognise that this project is going to finish, but it seems a nonsense that people are being laid off when there is still 60,000 to 70,000 hours of work to be done,†he added.

Any strike action in this economic climate will be tenfold worse than one pre-2007.

Watch for a mass sacking by corporate.

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This Autumn is suddenly looking very interesting. Is there a lot of pent-up anger and frustration out there (I'm not just talking about one industry)? I suspect there is. The politicians are probably thinking we'll lie down as before and take whatever's coming. Vamos a ver...

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British refineries are bracing themselves for strike action as thousands of oil industry engineers and construction workers across the country are nearing walk-outs after unions served seven days’ notice of an industrial action ballot.

Fire them all.

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General election next year so there is hope. When Thatcher came in I believe she curtailed some of the more ridiculous powers the Unions have. It's unlikely, but we can hope that Cameron gets rid of the rule that stops companies from hiring contractors to carry out work whilst the existing workers get the whole striking thing out of their systems.

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Guest KingCharles1st

Poor old Gordon...

but I'm sure our Peter will somehow knock this one over the boundary.

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Guest UK Debt Slave
Fire them all.

If they have a genuine grievance, why the hell shouldn't they make a stand?

Thank Christ there are some people out there who will still risk doing it, even if it can be a real pain for everyone else

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General election next year so there is hope. When Thatcher came in I believe she curtailed some of the more ridiculous powers the Unions have. It's unlikely, but we can hope that Cameron gets rid of the rule that stops companies from hiring contractors to carry out work whilst the existing workers get the whole striking thing out of their systems.

Whilst we are at it, why not get rid of collective bargaining altogether.

Including the right of shareholders to have management negotiate on their behalf. Or is collective bargaining OK in one direction but not another?

Hell, I don't even have the right to find out what other people doing the same job in the same company get paid. This prevents market forces operating efficiently.. should this be required by law?

The thing is, the ultimate cause of many of the problems we see now is that capital returns to employees have gone down relative to returns to the capital owners; enough to cause a big divide in incomes and hence the debt run-up. Skewing the relationship even more in favour of capital is going to make the problem worse.

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Whilst we are at it, why not get rid of collective bargaining altogether.

Including the right of shareholders to have management negotiate on their behalf. Or is collective bargaining OK in one direction but not another?

Hell, I don't even have the right to find out what other people doing the same job in the same company get paid. This prevents market forces operating efficiently.. should this be required by law?

The thing is, the ultimate cause of many of the problems we see now is that capital returns to employees have gone down relative to returns to the capital owners; enough to cause a big divide in incomes and hence the debt run-up. Skewing the relationship even more in favour of capital is going to make the problem worse.

How am I getting rid of collective bargaining? They can get together to negotiate all they like. I'm not proposing less freedom - I'm proposing more! I'd let the workers go on strike whenever they liked. No need for ballots or anything like that. I'd just also free the employers to hire contract workers to fill the gap. If the employees are actually worth what they claim then the contractors wouldn't be available anyway so there wouldn't be a problem.

As for the shareholders asking management to negotiate on their behalf - what does that have to do with anything? Management have the option of saying 'no' though that could have a nasty impact on the companies share price as investors flee (again, freely).

Edited by impatient_mug

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